Monday, February 09, 2009

A Digression

I have been hearing a lot about how a person who gets food stamps worth $176 a month cannot buy enough food to survive. Now I in no way mean to minimize the plight of someone who needs food stamps to survive. I sympathize with anyone who finds themselves in that situation. However, I want to try it myself to see how difficult it really is.

When I get back to New York, not exactly the cheapest place in the world to buy food, I am going to spend the month of April on a $176 food and drink budget. No beer or drinks in bars, of course, strictly what I can eat and drink on that amount of money And I suspect my drinking will be pretty much limited to fruit and vegetable juice and water. I also hope to lose a few pounds so if I record a weight loss it won't be due to starvation, just due to a more moderate lifestyle.

Personally I don't think this is going to be as difficult as everyone makes it out to be. Half the time I hear a about someone doing this they are talking about eating at McDonald's. I am thinkiing you buy a whole chicken and a cheap cut of beef and make your own meals. Five pounds of rice and a couple pounds of beans. I know how to cook, this might even be fun. I will, of course, post about what I have spent, what I have spent it on, and what meals I have prepared with what I have spent.

Another adventure. But not until I get back from Puerto Vallarta and have larded up a bit.

What motivated me to do this is someone on CNN who is making such a big deal about how he is hungry all of the time since he started this routine and how difficult it is.

April 1st, the day of fools, I shall start my foolish venture. Stay tuned and send me any advice you might have.

Giving up beer will be the toughest part, but when I make up my mind I will not be deterred. Oh, and no coffee either, unless I can buy it without going over budget.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman has refused to participate, but I cannot eat any of her food (and she can't eat any of mine).

You can check out on the CNN guy here. I notice he didn't say anything about buying salt and pepper or cooking oil, and fails to mention just how much he pays for what. I will be documenting everything I spend and what I cook, pictures too. When I start my little journey we can do a day by day comparison.

Oh, and like most people on food stamps, I will not be getting a check-up first or consulting with a nutritionist. Really, is that necessary when all you are doing is reducing the amount of money you are spending on food? Let's be real here. And I loved the part about having to give up bottled water. Why would anyone drink bottled water, especially in New York, which has some of the best tap water in the world, and consistently tests higher than bottled water which doesn't have to adhere to the strict standards of tap water in the United States. Let's just clog our landfills with more plastic.

Anyway, it won't be for awhile, but I am already looking forward to this challenge. In the meantime, stay tuned for more Mexican adventures. I could eat like a king down here for $176 a month, if I stayed away from the beer and tequila.

Come April we will all have an interesting time.


Peter said...

Sounds like a fun challenge!

I agree, I think most people aren't buying smartly, but are more concerned about what thet can't have.


Michaela said...

Faskinating! Can't wait!

Katie said...

I look forward to seeing how you do in your new venture!

In creatively budgeting for my stint in Alaska, I have spent under $150/month on food for the past five months. November was the best at $82. I bought lots of bulk foods, ate lots of oatmeal, and drank lots of water.

Niece Katie